Articles by Michael Bourne

October 1, 2013

A Slingshot Full of Stories: Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath 12

In David and Goliath, Gladwell appears to have started with an answer and then gone looking for people to prove him right.

September 27, 2013

Breaking Good: Broadway’s Golden Age Reborn on Cable 6

It seems clear that if Tennessee Williams and Lorraine Hansberry were writing today they would be showrunners for a cable series, because that’s where the audience is.

August 7, 2013

Breaking the Mold: Can Jeff Bezos Save the Washington Post? 0

Whatever you may think of Jeff Bezos and other tech innovators who broke the pre-Internet business model, the fact is the old model is broken – and who better to fix it than the man who helped break it in the first place?

July 26, 2013

Pride and Privilege: On Joanna Hershon’s A Dual Inheritance 1

A Dual Inheritance is that most pleasing of literary beasts: a novel of ideas wrapped up in a big, sudsy intergenerational saga of screwed-up families and soul-destroying love triangles.

July 12, 2013

The Apple Antitrust Case and the Widgetification of Books 10

It is easy to see the Apple antitrust suit as merely a clash between multi-billion-dollar corporations, but at heart the case asks a fundamental societal question: what, legally speaking, is art?

June 24, 2013

“The Locked Room of Himself”: On Colm Tóibín’s The Master 9

I have never cared so much about a character I liked so little.

May 16, 2013

Up Shit Creek, Sans Paddle: On David Waltner-Toews’s The Origin of Feces 2

The Origins of Feces is a genial book, and often a kick to read, but I put it down thinking two things: 1. I will never look at shit the same way again; and 2. We are in deep shit.

April 29, 2013

Say Goodbye to the Play-by-Play Book Review 9

In an increasingly digital world, literary critics need to become less like play-by-play announcer Joe Buck and more like color commentator Tim McCarver.

April 1, 2013

Amazon Announces Purchase of English™ 25

Plans are also in the works to acquire German, Spanish, French, and Mandarin Chinese, Bezos said, as well as several nonstandard dialects of English™, including African-American Vernacular English, popular among the highly desirable 18-25 upscale suburban demographic.

March 12, 2013

Who Are We Without Our Stories? Jonathan Dee’s A Thousand Pardons 3

The first twenty pages has the feel of a cable TV pilot, not the opening chapter of a literary novel. I even cast it in my mind, and became half-convinced that if I could just get Alison Janney to commit to play Helen, I could have it on HBO in time for the fall season.